George Zimmerman's First Court Appearance

George Zimmerman had his first court appearance today. His arraignment was set for May 29. Unless he's granted bail before then, he'll remain jailed. At a news conference I just watched that took place after the brief court hearing, the prosecutor who will be in charge of the case refused to answer questions about the facts that led to the second degree murder charged. By the end of his conference, he displayed a short fuse and testy demeanor.

George Zimmerman's new lawyer, Mark O'Mara, addressed the media, and said he and Zimmerman decided a few hours before the hearing to delay their request for bail. He said they will be requesting bail sometime within the next few weeks. He also said Zimmerman is in protective custody at the jail, and that he supported the placement for safety reasons. [More..]

O'Mara mentioned that Zimmerman really has no other safe place to go right now, and he will be working on finding one to present to the judge at the eventual bail hearing.

O'Mara has not yet seen any discovery. He has not received any legal fees, and will be requesting a finding of indigency so that the court pays for the cost of experts and other expenses (not including legal fees.) He does not know how much, if any, money was raised by Zimmerman's website. He did not express concerns about Zimmerman's mental health.

The judge today sealed all future records in the case. He said a 2 page probable cause affidavit will be released, but everything else will be sealed. The case has been assigned to Senior Circuit Court Justice Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica J. Recksiedler.

< Thursday Morning Open Thread | Zimmerman Arrest Affidavit Says Word Used Was "Punks" >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 01:16:33 PM EST
    Jeralyn for putting all this in layman's terms for those of us who are probably "illiterate" in matters of the law.

    Zimmerman getting a different lawyer... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by magster on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:24:34 PM EST
    ... seems to be a good call on Zimmerman's part. This guy seems much more professional and more about his client than himself.

    He sure does (none / 0) (#7)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 06:12:01 PM EST
    His calm, no drama, matter-of-fact reasonabless is a welcome relief.  He has a regular TV job as a legal commenter on a local FL station, so he's got a degree of aplomb not all attorneys who are suddenly in the limelight on a high-profile case are able to muster.

    One of the old lawyers (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:02:25 PM EST
    had the same TV job on a different Orlando area station.

    Based on some Florida judicial decisions (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 01:31:22 PM EST
    that J shared with me off-blog last night, it seems that the arraignment on May 29 is the earliest time (but not a do-it-or-lose it time) that the defense can file a motion asserting "immunity" under the Stand Your Ground law.

    thanks for the info (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 01:51:42 PM EST
    should be an even bigger circus by that point.

    It seems the defense attorney (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:38:00 PM EST
    strategy includes trying to reduce the number of rings in the circus.  Keeping Zimmerman in custody and taking advantage of time available so as to cool things down for his client.  The prosecution probably agrees, but for different reasons.   It will be a tough sale, even with attention span issues.

    No safety at home (none / 0) (#6)
    by sj on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 03:34:38 PM EST
    I expect he's right that finding safe place for Zimmerman will be difficult.  Everyone needs a safe harbor.  While I realize lots of people have no "safe place" I just think it's sad all around.

    OT Jeralyn, in your research on Kim DotCom, have you heard of this?  "Police lose video..."

    the first smart thing mr. zimmerman has done. (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 11:12:49 PM EST
    got a new attorney who actually acts like one. hopefully, for mr.zimmerman's sake, mr. o'mara will also be able to shut down mr.zimmerman's family & friends, as their public comments have simply added fuel to the fire.